Opening Day 2011Written by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
There have been some strong sports celebrations leading up to the April 14 doubleheader that will kick off the 2011 Toledo Mud Hens season.
Coach Brian Kinsella and the St. Francis de Sales hockey team won the state championship March 13 in an amazing 2-1 overtime victory against Lakewood St. Edward. It is the school’s first state hockey title, and the school is to be congratulated for the win and for the way its young men conducted themselves throughout the season and playoffs.
On April 2, head coach Tricia Cullop led the Lady Rockets to a national basketball title, winning the Women’s National Invitational Tournament by vanquishing Pac-10 powerhouse University of Southern California.
Thousands of basketball fans packed Savage Arena during the final few games of the run, which created a moment in history that will be savored for many years.
Off the field, University of Toledo legend Chuck Ealey is working on a foundation that is focused on establishing mentoring programs in Toledo-area schools. Ealey, who was an undefeated 35-0 during his UT career, is giving back to the community in ways that further enhance his legacy.
All this good news creates high expectations and excitement as the Mud Hens enter the season under the direction of new manager Phil Nevin. Nevin is a former Detroit Tiger as well as an Erie SeaWolves manager.
There is no day as exciting and full of optimism in Downtown Toledo as Opening Day. In this issue, Toledo Free Press offers the region’s most comprehensive and entertaining coverage of the season’s beginning, from Nevin’s debut to the schedules, rosters and behind-the-scenes stories that make local baseball so intriguing.
There is one sad note, as this will be the first season in nearly six decades without the presence of announcer Frank Gilhooley. But there is no doubt that Frank will watch this season from a grand seat, talking stats and trading stories with Jim Thorpe, Moses Fleetwood Walker, Casey Stengel, Hack Wilson, Kirby Puckett and the other heavenly all-stars of Mud Hens lore.
So enjoy this 92-page mega-issue, soak up the stories and let’s hope for warm weather.
It’s Opening Day 2011, and I can’t wait to see you at Fifth Third Field for the first pitch and the first two Hens wins!
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.